Friday, April 19, 2019

Beatitudes of Revelation

You probably are familiar with the Beatitudes of Matthew 5 saying “blessed are the…” But are you equally familiar with the 7 beatitudes of the Book of Revelation? Well the Revelation of Jesus Christ, given to the Apostle John, gives encouraging and scary thoughts for our consideration.

Starting in Revelation 1:3 we read, “Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy an blessed are those that hear it and take to heart what I written in it, because the time is near.”  God is admonishing us to read Revelation and to believe it with all of our heart now for the time of Jesus’s return is near. Yes the “end-times” are here and the “beginning of birth pains” that Jesus talks about in Matthew 24. “Now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2).  Blessed means more than happy, so get to it if you have not found salvation in Jesus Christ as yet. It will soon be too late.

Revelation 14:14 says, “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.”  This is victory. Yesterday I presided at a funeral where I was able to speak about our victory over death through Christ Jesus.  The time is now and not forever. The salvation is forever; the opportunity to find it will end soon.

“Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed” (Revelation 16:15).  Now this is a strange thought. We are being told frequently in the later New Testament to be alert and watchful for the times are dark and full of evil. I believe this and want to be “clothed” in Christ or believing in His deliverance through the valley and darkness. I don’t want to be found lacking faith as a “mustard seed” but trusting in God. Romans 8:1 says, “That there I therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

“Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!”  (Revelation 19:9). This forth beatitude tells of being ready. Remember the parable of the “Wedding Banquet” in Matthew 22? The king invites many to the banquet, but they were too busy to come. So he went to the streets and found good and bad to bring in. All were given invitation and received it, thereby receiving wedding clothes. This was a custom, but also symbolic of receiving Christ as Savior and Lord. We must hear and accept the invitation; otherwise we will be unclothed and thrown out. Many are invited and few are chosen. Chose today whom you will serve as Joshua told the Israelites.

“Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for 1000 years” (Revelation 20:6). What an incredibly exciting promise for those who trust in Christ, they will be resurrected and not have the second death, or damnation in Hades.

“Behold, I am coming soon! Blessed is he who keeps the words of prophecy in this book”  (Revelation 22:7). Jesus was telling John that He was coming soon. How the whole world groans for this moment and heavenly reign, at least believers do. Unfortunately all other should shudder.

“Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may go through the gates into the city” (Revelation 22:14).  This prophecy speaks of the Christian martyrs who have died for their faith. Very sadly as Revelation predicts the persecution is increasing and many will perish for the gospel. However, we do not need to fear as we may go through the gates of heaven many call the “pearly gates”. Actually Revelation 21:21 tells us that the gates are towering and made from one giant pearl.

Well, there they are, the seven beatitudes of Revelation bringing joy in the trials for Christians and perishing for non-believers. But Jesus said, “He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance”  (2 Peter 3:11).  What about you?  Don’t you want to be blessed of God and know for sure your eternal security? Then make haste and decide this day whom you will serve.

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